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Juan Soto Responds to Yankees Owner Wanting to Keep Him in New York

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When the New York Yankees traded for star outfielder Juan Soto this past offseason, there was a sense that the evil empire was officially back. Soto has been one of the better players in the league for years and pairing him alongside Aaron Judge gives the Yankees a powerful lineup. He is the definition of star power in baseball but is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season.

New York would love to keep him in the Bronx for a long time but it’s all a matter of what type of contract they offer him. Soto is expected to command a massive contract this coming offseason, potentially more than the $700 million deal that superstar Shohei Ohtani received from the Los Angeles Dodgers. If New York wants to make sure that he doesn’t reach the open market, they will have to come strong with the offer.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner appeared on the Yankees News & Views podcast and discussed his thoughts on keeping Soto in pinstripes long-term.

“We all know he’s generational, right?” Steinbrenner said. “He’s the complete package. I had no doubts he would perform here under pressure; zero doubts with that. I was curious to see how he’d interact with the fans, how he would interact with the media, and of course how he would interact with the rest of the players, and it’s just been great, great and great on those three things… We’ve seen the animated side of him as well. He’s fun to watch.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 17: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees in action against the Chicago White Sox during a game at Yankee Stadium on May 17, 2024 in New York…


Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Steinbrenner did mention that he normally doesn’t do contract negotiations during the season, but allowed that Soto could be a special case.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt of that,” Steinbrenner said. “His agent, Scott [Boras], doesn’t tend to normally do deals in the middle of a season. Neither do I. I think it can be a distraction. But as I said in Spring Training when I met with [the media], this is a unique situation and a very unique player. So, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a conversation or two had possibly during the course of the season.”

Soto has remained steadfast in his openness to staying with the Yankees long-term since the trade first happened. While testing the open market has always been the plan, Soto has left the door open for New York to begin discussions.

“They know the phone number and everything,” Soto said. “They know where to call. For me right here, I’m focusing on playing baseball. My thing is, try to help the team win.”

Soto is only 25 years old, so his prime is just beginning. New York hasn’t won a title since 2009, which seems like an eternity for this historic organization. Soto can be the building block to win now and deep into the future so they would be wise to make sure he feels appreciated in every way possible.